Pirates of the Tyrrhenian Sea

“Puking overboard to feed the fishes.”
James Joyce, Ulysses

It wasn’t as cheesy as Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and no one broke out in song or even spoke in pirate tones. Everyone did walk the rather short plank without much coercion though. And being Italy, we had no rum.

pirate ship italy
Welcome to our pirate ship

Every now and then I get a treat while I travel. I have to thank my family for this one (particularly my parents for helping me afford the vacation). And yes, I do get to take vacations from traveling because my mode of travel involves a lot of actual work during the week.

While in Capri for a wedding, the party organized a pirate ship cruise in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Apparently, I arrived a day too late for the yacht that sailed around Capri the previous day. But a pirate ship is so much cooler than a yacht.

View from the ship
View from the ship

I originally expected this to be a cruise around Capri until shortly after lunch — we had to meet for dinner at 6:30, and everyone on the pirate ship was going. The day lasted much longer. There were plenty of stops for us to jump off into the Tyrrhenian Sea for a swim. Without the sails up, the deck was rather hot, so the water felt a lot better.

tyrrhenian seaWe also cooled off with plenty of white wine, prosecco, and I drank enough water to clear out all the sea salt from my nose. I know, it’s not very pirate-like to drink prosecco, but we were Italian pirates for a day, and Italy doesn’t have any rum. We were also served plenty of pasta and seafood to stuff a walrus, which wasn’t such a great idea because that was pretty much what we were served for dinner in greater quantities.capri italy

As part of our cruise, we decided to take a quick tour of the Blue Grotto — quick because that’s all the time you’re given. It’s the biggest tourist draw in Capri aside from all the luxury shopping that can make anyone feel poor.

blue grotto boat
Ready to board the row boats for the Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is beautiful, but you only get about five minutes inside the small cave with about half a dozen other row boats. It costs 13 euros per person to go in, but that doesn’t include a tip for the rowers — supposedly they make nothing from the entrance fee. The rowers got angry at the tips we gave and there was a lengthy argument — we weren’t told what an acceptable tip was. We were willing to give a few more euros to shut them up, but there was too much pride on their side to bother. We just sailed away instead.

blue grotto capri
Inside the Blue Grotto

Aside from sunburn, which hurt like hell with my backpack a few days later on the way to Perugia, the day was great. The coast around Capri is picturesque, and it was interesting to see how the 1% likes to travel on yachts (boat garages on the ship with multiple boats and jet skis, or how about a helicopter?).capri italy

Have you been to Capri or the Blue Grotto? How did you enjoy it?

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